Cedar House Inn has been awarded the Gold level GreenLeader into the new TripAdvisor® GreenLeaders™ program, which helps travelers plan greener trips by identifying environmentally-friendly accommodations across the U.S.
TripAdvisor GreenLeaders have met a set of environmental standards developed for TripAdvisor by a leading environmental consulting firm, with input from expert partners. The more green practices a hotel has in place, the higher its GreenLeader level, which is shown on the property’s listing on the TripAdvisor site.
Travelers can now search for accommodations that have a GreenLeaders status on the TripAdvisor site, and view a detailed list of environmentally-friendly practices that they can expect at each location.
“TripAdvisor GreenLeaders are leading the hospitality industry in making efforts to improve their environmental footprint,” said Jenny Rushmore, director of responsible travel at TripAdvisor. “We greatly applaud these accommodations and are pleased to share their eco-friendly practices with our online audience of more than 200 million travelers.”
The TripAdvisor GreenLeaders program was developed in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR® program, the U.S. Green Building Council, and the United Nations Environment Programme. For more information, please visit http://www.tripadvisor.com/GreenLeaders.
Several years ago I read about the problems restaurants faced with the disposal of used cooking oil. If you have ever parked behind a fast food eatery you may have noticed a dumpster area for trash disposal as well as a container for storing used vegetable oil. The area is often tucked away behind the building to prevent the public from seeing and smelling the waste. Restaurants pay companies to haul away the solid and liquid waste.
I also learned many years ago that the diesel engine was invented by Adolf Diesel to run on peanut oil to help farmers with an affordable fuel source. Most diesel fuel now is petroleum based. Individuals can still run their diesel vehicles on vegetable oil by using a Grease Car type system or by converting the vegetable oil to biodiesel which requires a process and equipment using chemicals. I have always wanted to purchase a used diesel automobile and convert it to veggie oil. Imagine free fuel that is also good for the environment.
Recently I have been thinking about generating electricity with used vegetable oil from restaurants using a diesel generator. I was surprised to see that a company has developed such a product for restaurants to generate electricity and hot water from used oil (picture shown above). The unit even filters the waste oil prior to using it to generate electricity and hot water. The product is called the Vegawatt Power System. For more information visit web site.
On tonight’s ABC World News they featured a story about the use of paper and plastic shopping bags in grocery stores. The public has been slow to adopt the usage of reusable shopping bags. You have seen them. They are made of cloth or heavy plastic.
I have mentioned on previous blog posts that I am frustrated that when I go shopping with my wife she seems to be the only one using reusable bags. The other mindless shoppers are using the free throw away plastic or paper bags.
On tonight’s news they mentioned that some major cities are thinking about imposing a tax on each throw away plastic or paper bag used. San Francisco has already outlawed plastic bags. Other cities like Washington, DC are looking at a 20 cent per bag tax. The poor are crying foul saying they cannot afford the tax. At Trader Joe’s last week we bought a reusable bag for about a dollar. Reusable bags are affordable so the poor need to think of another reason.
In Ireland the ABC News story went on to say that they have imposed a 33 cent a bag tax on all bags. Nine out of ten consumers in Ireland now bring reusable bags when they go shopping. Hitting the pocketbook changes consumer behavior in Ireland. Would such a tax work in the USA. I would be willing to give it a try.
I hope Americans think about the consequences of their buying habits but I know that is wishful thinking on my part.
Bring on the bag tax and lets get rid of those awful plastic and paper bags that create pollution in their manufacturing (plastic) not to mention the number of trees that must be cut down for us to use a throw away paper bag.
Go out and purchase some reusable bags next time you shop and keep them in your car so that they can be used for your next grocery shopping trip.
Next time the check out person says paper or plastic say neither, I brought my own reusable bags.
Early this week my wife and I loaded up our VW Camper Van with bagged garbage to take it to the Lumpkin County landfill/transfer station. Since our middle son moved to Gainesville we have not been able to borrow his pickup truck for trash hauling so the van had to do.
We placed tarps inside the van to catch any spills from leaky trash bags, loaded the van and went on our way to the dump. My wife commented that there we no odors caused by the garbage. We check our guest trash for food at check outs and also take all of our unused food and use it for composting. That explained the lack of odor.
We were also surprised that we had not made the dump trip in over 3 months and marvelled at the small amount of trash we accumulated in the last 3 months. The trash were were taking to the dump were items we could not recycle or compost.
When my wife goes grocery shopping she tries to purchase items in recyclable packaging. By recycling the packaging versus disposing we keep it out of the landfill which helps the environment.
Here in the county we can recycle some plastics (mainly the water bottles guests leave us), cans and paper. We also use shredded paper/junk mail in our composter. Glass has to be taken to another county for recycling. Many wine bottles are bottle trees in the yard. See bottle trees for more information.
Being mindful about what you purchase and the packaging it comes in is very green. So is composting food to keep it out of the landfill. Start today and help the environment. Please do your part and everyone will benefit.
Here at Cedar House Inn and Yurts we have recycling bins in all guest areas to recycle paper, certain plastics and glass. Most guests are good about not throwing recycled items in the garbage can.
We also compost all uncooked and cooked leftover foods for the gardens and to keep the trash cans from odors.
Our trips to the local landfill happen about every 3-4 months since we throw away very little.
Our county offers a recycling station near the high school but is limited in what it takes. We haul certain plastics and all glass to another center in a nearby county.
I recently read an article about how much recycling varies across the country. It included a map of the USA showing recycling usage. I was shocked but not surprised that the southern states do not have recycling programs as much as other parts of the country. It appears to be a blue versus red state issue. Blue is more advanced in recycling. I often think this is true in most green practices.
I hope the south one day sees the importance of recycling on the Earth and environment.
To see the article visit Recycling Article.
At Cedar House Inn we always try to hang out our bed and bath linens on the clothesline outdoors weather permitting.
We bought a vinyl clothespin bag a year ago that became very tattered quickly. We tried to extend it’s life with duct tape. The sunshine apparently caused the premature death.
We have been looking for an replacement and saw some on the internet made from organic cotton. They were expensive.
We also recycle everything that can be recycled when guests check out of the inn. One item my wife saved was a hemp Earth Shoe bag that a guest had left last year.
My wife surprised me and made a really neat hemp clothespin bag that we used today.
All she did was cut out an opening for the pins and added a plastic coat hanger for hanging.
Coat hanger and bag now having another life with a different use.
We try to recycle everything we can at Cedar House Inn. One thing we cannot is number 5 plastics. Number 5 plastics are those medicine bottles and yogurt cups for example.
According to the new Green America magazine we just received Recycline has started the “Gimme 5″ program where they will accept number 5 plastics and Brita water filters for recycling. They will make eco friendly products such as toothbrushes, razors, mixing bowls, food storage containers and more with the recycled plastic.
The “Gimme 5″ bins for recycling will be at selected Whole Foods Markets or the plastic can be mailed to Recycline. Unfortunately our Whole Foods is too far away from the inn.
For more information contact Recycline.
Cedar House Inn has found a new way to recycle wine bottles. We have created bottle trees and shrubs. In the past we took our glass wine bottles to have them recycled. On television we noticed that a PBS show had a feature on making bottle trees.
Apparently bottle trees originated in Africa. People thought that evil spirits would fly up the neck of the bottle and become trapped.
We made ours out of fence posts you can purchase at the local lumber yard. We used long nails or gutter spikes to hang the bottles on the trunk.
The great thing about the trees is that the never need watering and are always colorful. The are very pretty in the sunlight and sometimes make a slight ringing sound on windy days.
What a great recycling idea that adds a little art and color to the yard.
At Cedar House Inn we recycle everything we can to reduce the trash we take to the landfill and to help the environment and reduce our impact on the Earth. For years we have been mindful to purchase items with limited packaging or in containers that can be recycled or composted (for example choose glass, 1 &2 plastics).
Unfortunately styrofoam sometimes appears with something we have ordered online (those darn packing peanuts) or guests leave us styrofoam coffee cups or fast food take out containers in the trashcan that cannot be recycled. Styrofoam in the landfill can last for many years and never decomposes.
Now there is a solution I recently found. Unfortunately it is not available in our area. The process is called Styrosolve and involves crushing the used styrofoam into small pieces to be mixed with a recycled solvent that breaks down the styrofoam into polystyrene. The polystyrene is then sold to companies to make cell phones and television cabinets for example. What a great idea!
The company that has created this product is Blue Earth Solutions Inc. in Florida. They are a publicly owned company that will sell the technology to recyclers and municipalities through the country. Imagine making money recycling all of that styrofoam that now sits in the landfill for thousands of years.